Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Hoane, Michael

Abstract

This study examined the efficacy of continuous nicotinamide (NAM) administration on recovery of function in rats following traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI was induced via controlled cortical impact (CCI) bilaterally in the prefrontal cortex (+1.5, 0.0 relative to bregma) or sham surgeries were performed. Rats were then treated with either NAM (150 mg/kg/day) or vehicle (saline). Rats were tested behaviorally on the bilateral tactile adhesive removal task, locomotor placing task, novel exploratory behavior and the Morris water maze (MWM). Rats were also assessed histologically by looking at lesion size, GFAP expression (as a measure of active astroctyes) and MMP-9 expression (as a measure of inflammatory response) at time points of 24 and 48 hours and 30 days. The behavioral assessments showed significant improvements in the NAM-treated animals on the bilateral tactile adhesive removal, locomotor placing and MWM. The histological assessments showed significant lesion reduction at 30 days in the NAM-treated group. There were no differences between NAM-treated and vehicle groups on either GFAP or MMP-9 expression. These results indicate that NAM treatment after TBI can significantly improve recovery of function in rats.

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